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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Antibacterial' Category


18
May

Corn Ethanol Production Contributing to Dangerous Over-use of Antibiotics

(Beyond Pesticides, May 18, 2012) A groundbreaking report documents the potential for antibiotics used in the production of corn-based ethanol to contribute to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The potential for the misuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture to spawn antibiotic-resistant bacteria has long been recognized, but the new report sheds light on a dimension of the problem that has largely gone unnoticed. Entitled Bugs in the System and published by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), the report establishes that antibiotic residues found in the by-products of ethanol production are strong enough to promote resistance in pathogenic bacteria when those by-products are fed to livestock. The report points out that for life-threatening bacterial infections in humans, there are no alternatives to antibiotics and that once resistant bacteria develop from antibiotic misuse, we have forever lost an effective treatment for the illness. For at least two decades, antibiotics have been an important component of the fermentation process used to make ethanol. Corn ethanol is the product of starches broken down into sugars by yeast. The sugars are then fermented and distilled, all of which happens in tanks full of warm water, a perfect environment not only for yeast […]

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08
May

Vermont Passes First Statewide Fracking Ban

(Beyond Pesticides, May 8, 2012) On May 4, the Vermont House of Representatives voted 103-36 to give final passage to legislation that will make Vermont the first state in the nation to ban the practice of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Fracking is a method of extracting natural gas from deep in the ground by injecting a mixture of water, sand and toxic chemicals ””including biocides”” under high pressure into dense rock formations such as shale, in order to crack the rock and release the gas. “The Vermont Legislature deserves tremendous praise for having the courage to stand up to all of the lobbying, the full page ads, and the legal threats of the oil and gas industry,” said Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. “This is a shot that will be heard, if not around the world then at least around the country.” According to a minority staff report released last year by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, more than 650 commonly used fracking products contain chemicals that are “known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act, or listed as hazardous air pollutants.” In its […]

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03
May

New Dental Fillings Utilize Controversial Nanotechnology to Kill Bacteria

(Beyond Pesticides, May 3, 2012) Scientists at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry have created the first cavity-filling composite using controversial nanotechnology that will both kill bacteria and regenerate tooth structure. The antibacterial component to the new fillings will be a base of quaternary ammonium and silver nanoparticles, along with a high pH. Researchers say that the nanocomposite filling will be able to neutralize residual bacteria that dentists are unable to remove after a dentist drills out a decayed tooth. Though nanotechnology is often heralded for its promising applications, scientists and researchers are becoming increasingly concerned with the lack of regulatory oversight and the potential impacts of these particles on public health and the environment. In addition to testing in animal teeth, the products will be tested in human volunteers in collaboration with the Federal University of Ceara in Brazil. So far, the products have been laboratory tested using biofilms from saliva of volunteers. In 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took several actions to limit human testing with strict guidelines. Human testing was initially stopped by a moratorium in 1998, but later reintroduced in 2003 by a court ruling on a pesticide industry suit. A silver nanoparticle […]

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30
Apr

Citing Lack of Efficacy, EPA Orders Hospital Disinfectant Removed from Market

(Beyond Pesticides, April 30, 2012) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered the manufacturer of an antimicrobial disinfectant intended for use in hospitals to remove the product from sale. Citing a violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), EPA issued a Stop Sale, Use, or Removal Order (SSURO) on April 16 to Zep, Inc. for its product “ZEP Formula 165.” EPA determined through its Antimicrobial Testing Program (ATP) that this antimicrobial disinfectant was, contrary to label claims, ineffective against the debilitating and potentially fatal human pathogen Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (pictured right). EPA identified multiple FIFRA labeling violations after analyzing a sample of the product, which it collected on May 26, 2011. FIFRA requires a pesticide labeled as an antimicrobial pesticide to “disinfect, sanitize, reduce or mitigate growth or development of microbiological organisms.” When laboratory analysis established that “ZEP Formula 165” used in accordance with the label instructions was not effective against Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, the false label claim constituted a FIFRA violation. EPA cited the manufacturer for a second violation after determining that the sample it collected contained an amount of the active ingredient Para-tertiary-amyl phenyl that exceeded the upper certified limit that was established for that ingredient in […]

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19
Apr

University of Texas Students Vote to Ban Triclosan on Campus

(Beyond Pesticides, April 19, 2012) The University of Texas (UT) Student Government body unanimously passed a resolution last month to ban soap containing the toxic antibacterial chemical triclosan throughout campus. If the ban is accepted by the University administration, UT would be the first university in the country to take an official stance against one of the most prevalent and dangerous antibacterial products available. Triclosan, which can be found in many personal care products, has been linked to numerous human and environmental health effects. Recently the Canadian government declared triclosan as an environmental toxin, proposing regulations to restrict its use. Student Government (SG) representative and public affairs graduate student Robert Love, who initiated the ban, says that officials in several different campus purchasing departments are open to phasing out antibacterial soap. For financial and environmental reasons, the University phased out the use of the triclosan-containing soap in restrooms across campus in 2008; however, it is still being used in other places on campus. According to a university spokeswoman, a campus-wide phase out would require an official decision. “What we’re saying is we need an outright ban on campus, and we need to kind of make a bold statement,” said urban […]

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28
Mar

Canada To Declare Triclosan Toxic to Environment

(Beyond Pesticides, March 28, 2012) The Canadian government is set to declare the bacteria killer found in many toothpastes, mouthwashes and anti-bacterial soaps as toxic to the environment, a move which could see the use of the chemical curtailed sharply in Canada. Triclosan, the chemical in question, has been linked to numerous human and environmental health effects and has been the subject of petitions calling for its ban from consumer products. Health Canada has been probing the effects of triclosan on the body’s endocrine system and whether the antibacterial agent contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance along with the effect of widespread use on the environment. The draft risk assessment finds triclosan to be toxic to the environment but but does not find enough evidence to say it is hazardous to human health. The formal proposal to list the chemical as toxic to the environment will be published Friday. Triclosan exploded on to the marketplace in hundreds of consumer products ranging from antibacterial soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, cosmetics, fabrics, toys, and other household and personal care products. While antibacterial products are marketed as agents that protect and safeguard against potential harmful bacteria, studies conclude that antibacterial soaps show no health […]

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27
Jan

Report Calls for Greater Review of Nanomaterials While Suit Seeks to Block Nanosilver Approval

(Beyond Pesticides, January 27, 2012) The National Research Council (NRC) released a report on Wednesday, finding that, despite extensive investment in nanotechnology and increasing commercialization over the last decade, insufficient understanding remains about the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanomaterials. Just one day later, a lawsuit was filed in court by the Natural Resources Defense Council challenging approval by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of a particular nanomaterial, nanosilver, citing the lack of scientific grounding. The suit, filed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, seeks to block EPA from allowing nanosilver on the market without legally-required data about its suspected harmful effects on humans and wildlife. Starting in December 2011, EPA allowed the company HeiQ Materials to sell nanosilver used in fabrics for the next four years as the company generates the required data on toxicity to human health and aquatic organisms. According to the NRC report, without a coordinated research plan to help guide efforts to manage and avoid potential risks, the future of safe and sustainable nanotechnology is uncertain. The report presents a strategic approach for developing research and a scientific infrastructure needed to address potential health and environmental risks of […]

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21
Dec

Report Highlights Risk From Antibacterial Chemicals In Clothing

(Beyond Pesticides, December 21, 2011) The Swedish Chemicals Agency (Kemi) has published an analysis of the antibacterial chemicals triclosan, triclocarban and silver textile products that finds these antibacterial chemicals to significantly leach out of treated products after washing. In the case of triclosan and triclocarban, about half or more of the original content is washed out after ten washes. The report questions the necessity of antibacterial textiles and highlights concerns about the increasing use of antibacterial products, and the hazards these substances pose to waterways and human health. The antibacterial treatment is usually marketed and labeled with the stated purpose of preventing odors in textiles. The Swedish Chemicals Agency analyzed 30 textile articles (English summary on page 7), specifically three antibacterial agents incorporated into the fabric, including silver (nanosilver), triclosan, and triclocarban. Concentrations of the antibacterials in fabrics fell after washing. In the case of triclosan and triclocarban, about half or more of the original content was washed out after ten washes. In the case of silver, the original concentration and washed-out content varied to a large extent. After ten washes, 10-98 percent of the silver had been washed out of the textiles. After three washes, half of the silver […]

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13
Dec

Lake Tahoe Pesticide “Ban” Overturned by Local Water Control Board

(Beyond Pesticides, December 13, 2011) Despite opposition from Lake Tahoe water providers and environmental groups, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (LRWQCB) voted last week to allow the use of pesticides to control invasive species like Asian clams and the underwater plants Eurasian watermilfoil and curly leaf pondweed. For years, the rules regulating pesticide use in Lake Tahoe limited their use to below detectable levels, creating a “de facto prohibition,” explains Mary Fiore-Wagner, an environmental scientist with the LRWQCB. The decision to allow the use of pesticides in the lake now rests in the hands of California State Water Resources Control Board. Carl Young, interim executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe/Keep Tahoe Blue, told the Associated Press that the plan poses a threat to the lake’s water quality and the public’s health, and he’s concerned visitors and residents could be exposed to pesticides through Tahoe’s fish and drinking water. The League is urging regulators to use non-chemical methods, including bottom barriers that involve the use of large mats to starve the species of sunlight and oxygen. The aquatic plants can be managed through mechanical harvesting. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates economic impacts from introductions […]

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12
Oct

Industry Study Touts ‘Safety’ of Triclosan Soaps, Dismissing Independent Adverse Effects Data

(Beyond Pesticides, October 12, 2011) A new industry-funded study that claims to “Reaffirm Safe Use of Triclosan, Triclocarban in Antibacterial Soaps and Washes,” concludes that triclosan and triclocarban soaps do not facilitate antibiotic resistance and antibiotic cross-resistance. The study, sponsored by the American Cleaning Institute and the Personal Care Products Council, long supporters of the antibacterial pesticide triclosan, dismisses previous independent data that has identified triclosan as a promoter of antibacterial resistance and calls for precautionary measures against the unnecessary but widespread use of antibacterial agents. The study, “Investigation of Antibiotic and Antibacterial Susceptibility and Resistance In Staphylococcus From The Skin Of Users and Nonusers Of Antibacterial Wash Products In Home Environments,” found that there was no statistically significant difference in antibiotic resistance in the bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, exposed to triclosan and triclocarban soaps compared with those not exposed. The study collected swab samples from the forearms of participants that used triclosan, triclocarban, and a control group that used neither. The study’s conclusions are not surprising since this industry has been a vocal and active promoter of the antibacterial products they manufacture and represent. Beyond Pesticides has previously responded to the American Cleaning Institute’s (formerly the Soap and Detergent Association) […]

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06
Oct

IFOAM Requests UN Require Members to Label Genetically Modified Foods

(Beyond Pesticides, October 6, 2011) Representatives of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) presented a special declaration October 1, 2011 to the United Nations (UN), requesting that the international organization commit all of its member nations to a world without genetically modified (GMO) foods and to identify existing GMO foods on product labels. The UN declaration was written in anticipation of the GMO Right2Know March which kicked off at the UN headquarters in New York on October 1 and will end at the White House on October 16. The UN delegation included IFOAM representatives, Joseph Wilhelm, founder of Rapunzel organic products and the force behind “Gene-Free America;” and his employees.” Maria-Luisa Chavez welcomed the delegation and accepted the declaration on behalf of the UN. She will pass it on to the president of the General Assembly, the main deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. Mr. Wilhelm believes that consumers have the right to know whether the food they buy is genetically altered. “Twenty percent of all manufactured foods in the U.S. contains genetically modified ingredients (GMO),” he said. “We hope the Right2Know march will raise consumer awareness and influence U.S. legislators to require that labels […]

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05
Oct

EPA Fines Logitech for Antibacterial Claims, Consumers Are Misled by Marketing of Products with Antimicrobials

(Beyond Pesticides, October 5, 2011) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered computer peripherals maker Logitech, Inc. to pay a fine of $261,000 for illegally advertising one of its keyboards as protecting users from bacteria and microbes. EPA found that the company made unsubstantiated public health claims about its keyboard, a violation of federal law. However, the widespread marketing of hundreds of products that are advertised as containing antibacterial ingredients (without a health claim), which EPA maintains is not technically illegal, underscores the misconception consumers have when purchasing products that incorporate ”˜antibacterials.’ Beyond Pesticides has ueged EPA to prohibit more broadly advertising references to these antibacterial ingredients, since they imply that public health protection extends to the user when in fact it does not. Logitech”˜s keyboard incorporates a pesticide- AgION silver -and then alleges protection from bacteria and other microbes. According to EPA, the company marketed the keyboard as protecting the user from bacteria and microbes. However, to promote the health benefits in this way, before products can be sold their product efficacy must be established in compliance with EPA guidelines under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Evidence found online and during an investigation in 2008 […]

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30
Sep

Triclosan Among Chemicals Detected in Narragansett Bay

(Beyond Pesticides, 9-30-11) Researchers from the University of Rhode Island (URI) have detected the antimicrobial triclosan and other toxic chemicals in the waters of Narragansett Bay off the coast of Rhode Island. The chemicals are a group of hazardous compounds that are common in industrial processes and personal care products but are not typically monitored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rainer Lohmann, Ph.D., associate professor of chemical oceanography, and graduate student Victoria Sacks, with the help of 40 volunteers, tested for the presence of the chemicals in 27 locations throughout the bay. The compounds were found at every site. “Being exposed to these compounds is the hidden cost of our lifestyle,” said Dr. Lohmann. “It’s frustrating that as we ban the use of some chemical compounds, industry is adding new ones that we don’t know are any better.” Although the chemicals were detected at very low levels, research has shown that many chemical compounds can still be quite toxic, even at low doses. Additionally, since triclosan is an antimicrobial agent, low concentrations provide the perfect environment in which to breed and select for bacteria that resist the effects of the chemical. “By themselves, none of these results makes […]

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28
Sep

Experts Warn of Nano Resistance, Call for Oversight

(Beyond Pesticides, September 28, 2011) Overuse of antibacterial agents contributes to promoting the development of more powerful bacteria that are resistant to treatment. This, according to a new report released by Friends of the Earth in which leading microbiologists warn that the rapid rise in household antibacterial products containing nanosilver could put public health at risk. The report emphasizes that as the numbers of deaths caused by bacterial resistance to antimicrobials and antibiotics in hospitals continues to rise, as well as increasing allergy incidents, the need to regulatory oversight is urgently needed. Dozens of socks, shoe inserts, sports clothing and towels now marketed as ”˜antibacterial’ or ”˜odor controlling’ use nanoparticles of silver to kill the bacteria that cause odor. Since nanosilver can be manufactured as spheres, particles, rods, cubes, wires, film and coatings, it can be embedded into a range of substrates, such as metals, ceramics, polymers, glass and textiles leading to its widespread commercialization. To see a listing of products that contain nanosilver see here. In interviews for this report, entitled, “Nano-silver: Policy Failures Put Public Health at Risk,” published by Friends of the Earth, medical experts warn that using such a powerful antimicrobial in these everyday products is […]

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15
Aug

Conversion to Organic Poultry Farming Lowers Risk of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

(Beyond Pesticides, August 15, 2011) Poultry farms that have adopted organic practices and cease using antibiotics have significantly lower levels of drug-resistant enterococci bacteria that can potentially spread to humans, according to a new study published August 10, 2011 in the online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives. The study, led by researchers at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health, suggests that organic conversion of U.S. poultry farms can result in immediate and significant reductions in antibiotic resistance for some bacteria. The non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock production accounts for nearly 80% of all antibiotics used in the United States. Typically, low levels of antibiotics are administered to animals through feed and water to prevent disease and promote growth. This is generally done to compensate for overcrowded and unsanitary living conditions, as is common in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and to fatten livestock to get them to market sooner. Antibiotic use is prohibited in the production of all animal products labeled organic. “We initially thought we would see some differences in on-farm levels of antibiotic-resistant enterococci when poultry farms transitioned to organic practices. But we were surprised to see that the differences were so significant across several […]

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20
Jul

Tell Bath and Body Works to ‘Spread Love and Not Toxics’

(Beyond Pesticides, July 20, 2011) With flavors like “tangelo orange twist,” and “sugar lemon fizz,” popular body care chain, Bath and Body Works, has marketed an entire line of antibacterial body care products to teens and young adults. Unfortunately, these products contain the toxic hormone disruptor and water contaminant, triclosan, which could be hazardous to teenagers whose bodies are still developing. Join Beyond Pesticides, Center for Environmental Health, and The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics in asking Bath and Body Works to stop selling triclosan products that claim to “Spread Love, Not Germs.” The Bath and Body Works antibacterial line, which includes products with names like “Tangelo Orange Twist” and “Sugar Lemon Fizz,” is marketed to teenagers using the slogan “spread love, not germs.” Although not listed on their website, this antibacterial line and others sold by the company contain triclosan as their main germ fighting ingredient. Beyond Pesticides in 2004 began voicing concern about the dangers of triclosan and in 2009 and 2010, submitted petitions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), calling for the removal of triclosan from consumer products. Since then many major companies are quietly and quickly removing triclosan […]

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27
May

Groups Sue FDA to Restrict Antibiotics in Livestock Feed

(Beyond Pesticides, May 27, 2011) A coalition of environmental and public health groups filed a lawsuit yesterday against the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require the agency to enforce strict standards regarding the routine use of antibiotics in livestock feed. The suit, filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Animal Concerns Trust, Public Citizen, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, calls on FDA to implement regulations based on its own findings that the routine use of low doses of antibiotics in animal feed presents increased risk for the development of resistant bacteria. The non-therapeutic use of antibiotic drugs in animal feed presents a serious risk to public health due to the potential for bacteria to develop resistance to the drugs as a result of repeated low dose exposure. The rise of drug-resistant infections in humans has been linked to the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed since the early 1970s, but FDA has failed to meet its legal responsibility to address the mounting health threat posed by the practice, according to the groups’ suit. The coalition’s suit would also force the agency to respond to citizen petitions filed by […]

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13
Apr

EPA Urged To Ban Toxic Antibacterial Chemical Linked to Hormone Disruption and Widespread Water Contamination, as Comment Period Closes

(Beyond Pesticides, April 13, 2010) In response to a petition submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calling for a ban on the non-medical uses of triclosan, Beyond Pesticides is again urging the agency to halt the use of the antibacterial triclosan in consumer products. Citing recent scientific evidence detailing hormone disruption, impaired fetal development, water and crop contamination, the petitioners state that given the emerging science and the violation of numerous environmental statues by triclosan’s use constitutes placing a ban on the chemical. In comments submitted in support of the petition, Beyond Pesticides state that such a dangerous chemical has no place on the consumer marketplace. “The nonmedical uses of triclosan are frivolous and dangerous, creating serious long-term health problems and environmental hazards associated with its continued use. EPA has a responsibility to ban consumer triclosan use in a marketplace where safer alternatives are available to manage bacteria” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. Triclosan’s impact on the consumer market has been aided by a false public perception that antibacterial products are best to protect and safeguard against potential harmful bacteria. However, research into triclosan’s health and environmental impacts shows triclosan does more harm than good, […]

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09
Mar

Study Documents Triclosan’s Failure To Kill Bacteria in Hospital Settings

(Beyond Pesticides, March 9, 2011) A recent study reports that the underlying cause of a fatal outbreak of P. aeruginosa in a hospital came from the contamination of triclosan soap dispensers, which acted as a continuous source of the bacterium. The contaminated triclosan soap infected the hands of health care workers and then patients, since triclosan is shown to have no effect on P. aeruginosa -a bacterium frequently associated with hospital-acquired infections. Authors of the study recommend alcohol-based sanitizers where appropriate, instead of triclosan soaps. The study, “Molecular Epidemiology of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa Hospital Outbreak Driven by a contaminated Disinfectant-Soap Dispenser,” published online in PLoS One, investigates a fatal epidemic of P. aeruginosa that occurred in a hematology unit in Italy. The researchers found that patients became indirectly infected (e.g., during central venous catheter handling through contaminated items) and the triclosan soap dispenser acted as a common continuous source of P. aeruginosa infection. Since P. aeruginosa is intrinsically not susceptible to triclosan, the use of triclosan-based disinfectant formulations should be avoided in those health care settings hosting patients at high risk of P. aeruginosa infection, the authors conclude. Immunocompromised patients, especially chemotherapy patients, are especially at risk. Soap dispensers in […]

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22
Feb

Antibacterial Soap Suspected of Making Patients Sick

(Beyond Pesticides, February 22, 2011) After witnessing a patient’s condition improve upon discontinuing the use of antibacterial products containing the active ingredient triclosan, Gerard Guillory, M.D. of Denver, Colorado believes that several of his patients are experiencing health problems caused by daily exposure to the chemical. Dr. Guillory told local ABC 7 News: Denver Channel that he was treating his patient, Mary Lou Simanovich, for hyperthyroidism and asked her about antibacterial soap, which she had been using for years. After Ms. Simanovich stopped using soaps containing triclosan, both she and Dr. Guillory noticed improvements in her condition and overall health. “I feel better now. That’s all I can say and I think there’s an association,” said Ms. Simanovich to the Denver Channel. Antibacterial agents like triclosan, found in many antibacterial products, are linked to a host of adverse health and environmental effects including hormone disruption, possible impaired fetal development, and water and food contamination. Triclosan is an endocrine disruptor and has been shown to affect male and female reproductive hormones and is also shown to alter thyroid function. “My suspicion is that if it’s damaging the thyroid, it’s probably damaging other organs in the body,” said Dr. Guillory to the […]

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03
Feb

Another Company Pulls Triclosan from Products; Public Comment Period Extended

(Beyond Pesticides, February 3, 2011) Following numerous developments on the antibacterial pesticide triclosan in consumer products over the last year, including several published studies highlighting the serious adverse effects of exposure, the submission of a federal petition calling for the ban of the chemical, and increased consumer awareness, experts are urging companies to take precautions and remove the ingredient from their products. Newest on the list of companies to remove triclosan is GlaxoSmithKline, which has removed the chemical from its Aquafresh and Sensodyne toothpastes, as well as its Corsodyl mouthwash. Recently Colgate-Palmolive, makers of Colgate Total and Softsoap antibacterial hand soaps, has removed triclosan from most of its products, excluding its Total brand toothpaste, a line that the company claims fights gingivitis. However, as Elizabeth Salter Green, director of ChemTrust, a UK-based health and environmental organization, says in Cosmetics Design: “If one eats the right foods and maintains correct dental hygiene, then triclosan, or other antibacterial agents are not needed.” Antibacterial Soap: Public Health Survey In response to a recent survey on antibacterial soap by the chemical industry, Beyond Pesticides has released its own survey questions about the health and environmental issues surrounding antibacterial cleansers and asks that you share […]

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10
Jan

Under Growing Market Pressure, Company Pulls Triclosan from Products

(Beyond Pesticides, January 10, 2011) Since the submission of a federal petition last year calling for the ban of the antibacterial pesticide triclosan from consumer products, along with numerous published studies highlighting the serious adverse effects resulting from exposure, as well as increased consumer awareness, major companies are succumbing to public pressure to remove this chemical from their products. Recently Colgate-Palmolive, makers of Colgate Total and Softsoap antibacterial hand soaps, has removed triclosan from most of its products. Numerous developments last year, including the petition to ban triclosan submitted by Beyond Pesticides and Food and Water Watch along with over 80 environmental and public health groups, citing triclosan’s violation of numerous federal statues, as well as the increasing scientific data on triclosan’s hormone disrupting effects and long-term environmental contamination, have placed triclosan under media and congressional scrutiny. Companies are now quietly moving to remove triclosan from their products ahead of potential regulatory action and increasing consumer and retailer rejection. Colgate-Palmolive is reformulating its popular soap products to exclude triclosan. The orange-colored ”˜Ultra-Palmolive Antibacterial,’ the antibacterial dish-cleaning liquid will no longer contatin triclosan as its active ingredient and will no longer make the claim of being a “hand soap,” but will […]

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07
Jan

EPA Cited for Ineffective Regulation of Antimicrobials

(Beyond Pesticides, January 7, 2011) The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a report criticizing the agency’s lack of regulation concerning antimicrobial products. Citing a number of failures, the report finds that the EPA’s Antimicrobial Testing Program (ATP) has been largely inadequate in testing products to ensure safety and efficacy, and has failed to remove products that did not meet program standards. This report is especially of concern because some antimicrobials, such as triclosan, are known to cause dangerous public health and environmental hazards. Triclosan is one of the most prevalent antibacterial compounds found in products ranging from soaps and toothpastes to fabrics and toys. Studies have increasingly linked triclosan (and its chemical cousin triclocarban), to a range of adverse health and environmental effects, from skin irritation, allergy susceptibility, bacterial, endocrine disruption and compounded antibiotic resistant, tainted water, and dioxin contamination to destruction of fragile aquatic ecosystems. Through ATP, antimicrobial products including hospital disinfectants and tuberculocides are meant to be tested to ensure that they meet health standards and that the claims on the product labels are accurate. However, OIG has found that “EPA’s implementation of the ATP has not delivered […]

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